Originally Posted by: 69devilleDoes someone have a non-over-the-top-technical definition of headroom? I see it A LOT when reading articles etc., on amps but not really sure what the heck it is. Takers??? Dale
In the most basic possible terms:
Turn your amp on 10, turn your guitar on 10. You now have ZERO headroom. You have no more "room" to turn your equipment up any louder.
Turn your amp on 5. You now have headroom from 6-10 on your amp.
Turn your guitar on 8. You now have headroom from 9-10 on your guitar.
In more technical terms it can relate to how much a piece of audio gear can be turned up within safety limits, or before damage or distortion sets in.
Typically having headroom available is good for clean signals like a stereo for reproducing music, or a PA for vocals or cleanly & precisely
re-amplifying a signal or miked amps or instruments. This means that you have plenty of power in the system. You don't need to turn it up all the way in order to get the volume you need. You don't have to strain the system. And there's a little left in the tank if you do need to turn it up a bit.
Conversely, often electric guitarists do not want or need as much headroom in their amps, because they desire the sound of the amp cranked to 10 or close to it. :) However, it's always a good idea to know you have a little headroom available in your guitar. So, you can turn it up to 10 on the solo or loudest part of the song. But turn it down to 5 to 9 while the singer is singing or for the quieter parts of the song.
The wiki entry might be helpful.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Headroom_(audio_signal_processing
Hope that helps!
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